Business Employment Dynamics

Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data track the expansion and contraction of employment for private businesses. These employment changes - gross job gains (expansions and openings) and gross job losses (reductions and closures) - are components of the net change in employment at the establishment level.

NOTE: Data released for first quarter 2012 incorporate annual revisions to the BED series. Annual revisions are published each year with the release of first quarter data. These revisions cover the last four quarters of not seasonally adjusted data and 5 years of seasonally adjusted data.

Business Employment Dynamics Summary for 2014, First Quarter (released November 19, 2014)

Data for California (1992 - 2014):

Data for United States (1992 - 2013):

About the Data:

The Business Employment Dynamics data measure the net change in employment at the establishment or firm level. These changes come about in one of four ways. A net increase in employment can come from either opening units or expanding units. A net decrease in employment can come from either closing units or contracting units. Gross job gains include the sum of all jobs added at either opening or expanding units. Gross job losses include the sum of all jobs lost in either closing or contracting units. The net change in employment is the difference between gross job gains and gross job losses. Business Employment Dynamics Technical Notes. View additional information on the BLS Business Employment Dynamics Web site.

The formal definitions of employment changes are as follows:

Openings
These are either units with positive third-month employment for the first time in the current quarter, with no links to the prior quarter, or with positive third-month employment in the current quarter, following zero employment in the previous quarter.

Expansions
These are units with positive employment in the third month in both the previous and current quarters, with a net increase in employment over this period.

Closings
These are units with positive third-month employment in the previous quarter, with no employment or zero employment reported in the current quarter.

Contractions
These are units with positive employment in the third month in both the previous and current quarters, with a net decrease in employment over this period.

All establishment-level employment changes are measured from the third month of each quarter. Not all establishments and firms change their employment levels. Units with no change in employment count towards estimates of total employment, but not for levels of gross employment job gains and gross job losses.

Gross job gains and gross job losses are expressed as rates by dividing their levels by the average of employment in the current and previous quarters. This provides a symmetric growth rate. The rates are calculated for the components of gross job gains and gross job losses and then summed to form their respective totals. These rates can be added and subtracted justas their levels can. For instance, the difference between the gross job gains rate and the gross job losses rate is the net growth rate.

The BED data are a product of the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, which is a federal-state cooperative program.